Monday, September 14, 2009

Review - Mad Men Season 3 Episode 5 The Fog

It's the fifth episode and it's still not clear exactly where this season is heading. Yes, Betty had baby Eugene, Duck is back, and the British guys have their panties in a bunch, but there is no clear direction like in the previous seasons. I have some speculation that is probably way off the mark, but the thought popped into my head and won't leave.

With Betty not sleeping well, and Don still disconnected, I predict a huge change, either good or bad. This hinges on Sally's teacher Suzanne Farrell who is overtly attracted to Don who reciprocates. Whether they act or not will define where the season is going. If they do, Don's home life is going to hell, if they don't all will be good and even better. Unfortunately, there were clear signs a hook up will happen. When Suzanne called Don, we had a good idea what she wanted, so now it's up to Don to show some restraint, something he is not too great at.

Love him or hate him, Pete really stepped up with his creativity, trying to market to the black community. Too bad nobody but Pryce bought it. While Hollis may have viewed Pete's slightly insensitive (for today's standards) comments as racist, he actually respects blacks enough to think they could be targeted as a group. Luckily, Duck Phillips realizes his worth. I liked how he also sought out Peggy to work for Grey. The conversation she had with Don about her pay was almost painful to watch. She's probably not going anywhere, but you gotta feel for her.

The scenes at the hospital were a huge portion of the episode. I don't understand why so much of it was dedicated to the prison guard Dennis. I intensely disliked him from the beginning and didn't have anything good to say until his departure when he tells Don he's and honest guy. Right... Betty in her "fog" was having all sorts of visions. It started off fine with Pushing Daisies-esque scene with a caterpillar, but eventually she had a dream of her father calling her a housecat. Can anyone tell me where the music in the first scene with the caterpillar and the very end of the episode comes from? I swear I've heard it in a movie somewhere, but I don't remember what.

Edit: Someone asked about that very brief scene at the hospital in which the prison guard who befriended Don earlier seemingly shuns Don, so after rewatching it over 10 times, here's what I have. The prison guard's wife has a smile on her face, but her eyes are telling the real story, she's unhappy. I don't know where Dennis was taking her, but there was no baby in her hands, and I'm guessing she was clutching her hands because a baby belong in them. If I had to take a guess, I'd say the baby died after being born.

Score: 9.0/10

Related:

Review - Mad Men Season 3 Episode 4 The Arrangements

Review - Mad Men Season 3 Episode 3 My Old Kentucky Home

9 comments:

TAS said...

I think the music - Betty's theme - is Song of India, performed by David Carbonara (composed by Rimsky-Korsakov).

Anonymous said...

Also, Betty had more than one dream. And in each of those sequences, as well as the end credits, that particular track was played. It would be nice to know. Great show last night...

actfourscreenplays said...

Nice thoughts. I thought Pete's pitch to Admiral was going fine until he mentioned "integration." Marketing to and profiting from blacks is all fine, but blacks and whites in the same commercial is over the line.

I was a bit taken aback that Pete would even use the term "integration" -- one could conjecture he got that from Paul Kinsey, but if so, they should have SHOWN this moment.

In general, I didn't feel the writing in this episode was at the excellent Mad Men level that is the norm.

I've got some amusing pics from this episode up on my site...I hope to post more soon...
http://wp.me/pCufw-32

o_dilloway said...

I wish, too, that Don would resist the teacher's panty-dropping for once. Otherwise, I'm going to stop caring about him and his lack of struggle.

Anonymous said...

OMG...no one that I know of so far has commented on the brief encounter between Don and the Prison gaurd after the wives have given birth and they are passing in the hall...Where was the other couples baby? Why was he snubbed by his new friend...was his previous conversations with the guard in the waiting room imagined?

TV Obsessed said...

I had no clue about the snubbing, so I didn't write anything about it, but after rewatching it about 10 times, here's what I got.

The prison guard's wife has a smile on her face, but her eyes are telling the real story, she's unhappy. I don't know where Dennis was taking her, but there was no baby in her hands, and I'm guessing she was clutching her hands because a baby belong in them. If I had to take a guess, I'd say the baby died after being born.

tastouchsoaps said...

Song of India (Betty's theme) was also play in season 2, can't remember the episode. Betty is meeting Don at a hotel for Valentine's day and the music is played as she walks down a stair case to meet him.

abba1943 said...

As one who is old enough to remember the early 60s as an adult (I was in college when Kennedy was killed), Pete is clueless about Hollis and about "Negroes." What we saw in the elevator scene between Pete and Hollis recalls a still vivid memory of an African-American professor - one of the very few at major colleges in that era - remarking to an all white class that he was often asked "What do Negroes think about...?"

In this scene, and the one in which the Brit remarks that he is a stranger in a strange land... there is no crossover of sociology and economics. Pete sees a new target, and sees the opportunity to expand his role in the agency. That Negroes are anything other than whites with dark skin is completely beyond his experience or understanding. They are simply a new source of revenue for a client and a market in which he can become the "subject matter expert."

Anonymous said...

I commented on the guy looking away from Don in the hall on other forums. Its too much conjecture as to whether his baby died. The most obvious answer is he looked away from Don after his swearing to him he would be a better man. He knew he would not. From what we saw of him, he is blue coller, tough prison gaurd and was ogling the nurse in the waiting room. He won't change (neither will Don) He was ashamed because he made a promise to Don, like he was God to "be a better man" and the next day, seeing Don, he knew he would't change at all, which is why he looked away. Hope that helps!

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